Feminism: is a range of movements and ideologies that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve equal political, economic, cultural, personal, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment.
Under this definition, wouldn’t every woman and indeed, every right-minded ethical person be a feminist? Probably so. Yet the cultural concepts of what feminism is have been warped and skewed since the true feminist movement surged in the 70’s and beyond. Feminism has now become associated with man-bashing, victim-mentality and a lot of other things that are completely off the mark of the true definition of feminism.
Because of all the mixed thoughts, opinions, and motives of those in agreement and not in agreement with ‘feminism’- which apparently has a different definition for everyone, a new social media trend has plenty of people up in arms as thousands of women have taken to using the hashtag #WomenAgainstFeminism. Many of the women blasting this sentiment do so from a sense of wanting to voice their views and set the record straight on what they believe are outdated or out of alignment aspects of traditional or culturally understood feminism.
This plays into the viewpoints like “Feminists are manhaters”, “I am not a victim simply because I’m a woman”, “I am independent without feminism” or similar sentiments. Many would argue, however, that these individuals are not actually referring to true feminism. Yet, in a sense, they are reacting to a cultural expression of what is called feminism.
These ideals are not true fundamental feminism but rather cultural distortions or images created by extremists.
Mark Ruffalo Had Some Words
In response to the feather-ruffling social media trend, actor Mark Ruffalo offered some strong words on the topic by referring with honor to the historical feminists who truly have impacted the rights and freedoms of women. Here are Ruffalo’s statements,
“My response to the ‘I am not a feminist’ internet phenomenon: First of all, it’s clear you don’t know what feminism is. But I’m not going to explain it to you. You can Google it. To quote an old friend, ‘I’m not the feminist babysitter.’ But here is what I think you should know.
You’re insulting every woman who was forcibly restrained in a jail cell with a feeding tube down her throat for your right to vote, less than 100 years ago.
You’re degrading every woman who has accessed a rape crisis centre, which wouldn’t exist without the feminist movement.
You’re undermining every woman who fought to make marital rape a crime (it was legal until 1993).
You’re spitting on the legacy of every woman who fought for women to be allowed to own property (1848). For the abolition of slavery and the rise of the labor union. For the right to divorce. For women to be allowed to have access to birth control (Comstock laws). For middle and upper class women to be allowed to work outside the home (poor women have always worked outside the home). To make domestic violence a crime in the US (it is very much legal in many parts of the world). To make workplace sexual harassment a crime.
In short, you know not what you speak of. You reap the rewards of these women’s sacrifices every day of your life. When you grin with your cutsey sign about how you’re not a feminist, you ignorantly spit on the sacred struggle of the past 200 years. You bite the hand that has fed you freedom, safety, and a voice.
In short, kiss my ass, you ignorant little jerks.”